The UK's Department of Trade and Industry has announced an increase of funding for embryonic stem cell research. Newspapers have claimed that this will make Britain the world's leading public funder of stem cell research.
Forty million pounds will be disbursed over the next three years, for basic research into stem cell biology and development. The money will also be spent on developing stem cell based treatments for disease and injuries. The funding package includes £2.6 million to establish the world's first stem cell bank, which is due to open next year.
Last week, a debate about stem cell research took place in the UK House of Lords, following a select committee report that was called for by opponents of the research when the regulations allowing it were originally passed.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the Chinese government has given the go-ahead for the establishment of a state-run stem cell bank in China. According to Chinese press reports, the stem cell bank will be built near the capital Beijing and will aim to provide cell transplants for up to 200 patients every year.